February 2019 E-News
Transitions in Parenting
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children.
One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
William Hodding Carter III

The other day in an airport security line, I saw a parent grab his disobeying toddler and carry him through the X-ray machine. Dad had tried reasoning, coaxing, and various forms of carrots, real and metaphorical.  The fussy toddler was having none of that. So eventually dad just grabbed him by the suspenders and carried him through, as the toddler continued to rant and fume.  As I watched the scene unfold, I thought to myself, I miss those days when I could resolve the issue that easily .

I love my teenagers. A lot. But I feel fairly at sea when it comes to figuring out what "successful parenting" looks like these days. Many of the old rules, tricks and strategies don’t work. The kids are changing, I am changing, and the world is changing. I hear the parents of their young adult children say the same thing. This parenting thing is one big experiment in adapting and dealing with change. 

Trite as it may sound, when things are so fluid, it makes sense to me to go back to the things I count on—values, grace, forgiveness, prayer, and a belief that these two beloved souls are not ultimately mine. They are their own people, something they remind me of almost every day. And they are on loan from the One who loves them even more than I do. 

That doesn’t necessarily help me when I’m needing to make one of those split second parenting decisions. But it does help me sleep better at night. Stepping back and looking at the big picture usually does. 
Reflection Question
How has our changing world changed your way of navigating through parenthood?
Summer Day

Turning the Tables

Early in her sophomore year of high school, my daughter had a midday medical appointment and I had to go over to school to pick her up. She was in a big school – close to 2000 kids.

When I arrived, I had to wait in a little room with a glass door looking out on the hallway. When the bell rang, the kids poured out into the hallway. The girls laughing and talking with their friends. The boys hip-checking each other into the walls.

After a few minutes, my daughter came into view. She was solo, looking down at the floor, hugging the lockers – trying to be invisible. In that instant, I realized my fun-loving kinda-shy middle schooler had morphed into a teen who was hugely uncomfortable among her peers. It was an utterly eye-opening punch in the gut moment.

Fast forward a ½ dozen years or so. My daughter has just finished college. She’s living with us, working at a new job. She walks into the kitchen one day and starts talking about the adult class she just signed up for. She’s decided that the best way to overcome her fear of speaking in public is to take a comedy class. What!?!

The final session of the class was held at an open-mic in a local bar, each student performing the set they had been working on. Things went so well that she and her classmates went to an open-mic at another bar a week later, and again hit it out of the park. What!?!

My kids have taught me as much about life as I’ve taught them. No, they've taught me far more. As they struggle to find themselves, they take risks that inspire and amaze me.

Of course, now a nagging echo of my own parenting voice says there’s clearly only one way to respond. I need to sign up for the same class. My daughter quietly and decisively boomeranged my own advice. The tables have been turned. I’m already sweating.

Dan Quinlan
Our "LumZoom" has been rescheduled for March 7th

Join us this month to reflect on how we've handled past parenting transitions and how we might prepare for the changes of the future. What have we learned from these transitions? How have they changed us?

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2019 Chicago Men's Retreat: "Male in a Whale, The Sequel"

All this and more is embedded in this short story from the Old Testament. As with all Lumunos men's retreats, you can also expect good food, lots of laughter, and the magic that happens when you jump off the hamster wheel for a few days...

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Appalachian Women's Retreat

Join us as we explore the story of Hildegard of Bingen to frame our stories and to deepen connections with our mystical, contemplative, and creative sides. On this retreat, you can expect: Away time to disconnect from routines, connect with self...

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February Blog
Tea with Hildegard

Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness. -Hildegard of Bingen

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"Mother" by Brandi Carlile
"Forever Young" by Bob Dylan
Good News Corner
Father Thanks Stranger for Entertaining His Daughter in...

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Doug Wysockey-Johnson   doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan   dan@lumunos.org  
Alice Barbera   alice@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org